People talk. Your interactions with people will be shared and even dissected by others, and it happens a lot with job interviews. This is because anecdotal feedback reveals a lot about a person’s character that can be missed in a formal interview situation, which makes it incredibly useful and insightful for hiring managers and recruiters.
It’s standard practice for recruitment consultants and hiring managers to ask their receptionists what they thought of a job applicant prior to actually stepping into the interview room to meet them. Receptionists learn how to quickly read people as they meet a wide variety of personalities every day and experience an even wider range of interactions. Hiring managers and recruiters can then gauge how well the job applicant really connects and relates to people, in particular how well they will engage with and treat their co-workers and direct reports.
If you’re terse, rude, dismissive and abrupt to the receptionist or whoever comes out to greet you, but are then nice as pie to the hiring manager or recruiter, it definitely won’t go unnoticed. If the interaction the receptionist had with you doesn’t match up with the pleasant persona you projected in the interview, it will suggest that you are not authentic and when unobserved will treat others poorly, which could ultimately cost you the job.
You should also bear in mind that sometimes the person that comes out to greet you will be a key decision maker in the company – I’ve even seen a CEO greet visitors when the receptionist wasn’t available; so it’s vital that you make a good first impression!
Job interviews are stressful and nerve-wracking at the best of times, resentment and frustration can easily start to bubble up when you’re asked to fill out additional application forms and provide documentation for scanning, such as a passport and drivers’ licence. While it can feel tedious and heavy handed having to complete these administrative forms, it’s a crucial part of the recruitment process, especially for recruitment agencies, and it’s never a good look to make a huge fuss about how inconvenient you find it. In order for them to help you, you need to help them too!
It’s all too easy to lose your cool when you’re stressed or nervous, you might not even realise you are projecting an aura of negativity and bad vibes. Hiring managers and recruiters will take your nerves into account when evaluating how well you did in the interview, but if your emotions boil over and you are, as innocuous as it may seem, a little bit snappy and short with the receptionist, that simply won’t fly and you can kiss that job goodbye!
Written by Alisa Moore, Research & Community Manager at Gaulter Russell Numero.